A restaurant on Old Vine is getting a makeover, a new name and a new chef: Walker’s is becoming Ranada’s Bistro and Bar.
Walker’s, which opened earlier this year, closed in mid-November, said owner Larry Dean. Now he’s reopening with a menu featuring well-known local chef Ranada Riley.
The restaurant staff will have a soft opening for dinner Nov. 29-Dec. 1. The first weekend of December will be the restaurant’s grand opening, Riley said.
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In about a month Riley plans to add brunch on weekends and eventually lunch on weekdays., she said.
Ranada’s will have “an eclectic menu” with Thai dishes, Southern fusion, and other dishes paying homage to popular local restaurants that have gone, such as Natasha’s, she said. Former Natasha’s owner Gene Williams shared his recipe for hoppin’ John with Riley, and she plans to serve that, she said.
She also plans to let local artists show works on the walls of the restaurant and to have a live music venue for local musicians, she said.
“We are losing things left and right, venues for musicians, for artists, and we’ve got 16 walls,” she said.
Riley and Dean also plan to lease space in their separate commercial kitchen for entrepreneurs who are looking to get started in the food business, serving as a restaurant incubator.